SwissOutpost.com, a carrier of high - end Wenger watches, is one of only two companies in the U.S. privileged to sell products on the Internet that are made by Victorinox Swiss Army. Recently, they were also given rights to sell Swiss Army watch closeouts online, an achievement five years in the making. Their history with Victorinox dates back to 1991, when Peter Adler, current President of SwissOutpost.com, and his father, petitioned CompuServe for permission to sell Swiss Army watches and knives online.
Adler's father began the company in 1975, initially dropshipping sunglasses for Cendant, a Fortune 100 company that publishes catalogs such as MobileShopper and CitiShopper. Even now, 90 percent of SwissOutpost.com's wholesale business continues to be dropshipping for companies of all sizes, including household name catalogs like SkyMall, and well known Internet companies such as Overstock.com and SmartBargains.com.
Conversely, they have customers who are much smaller organizations as well. "We dropship for people who sell on eBay or make their own websites. Often they are small and sell only online, but sometimes they have a retail store and a website," said Adler. "We also get lots of calls from people who want to buy in bulk."
Predictably, many of their customers are sporting goods stores, but there are also airport gift stores who like the high - end Wenger watches. SwissOutpost.com's product line is also excellent for mainstream gift stores, since in addition to knives, they carry a diverse line of other Swiss Army products such as fragrances, cutlery, pens, clocks and both travel and business gear. "We have about 800 items on the site, but the majority of the business is Swiss Army watches and knives," said Adler.
Currently, since their site is retail, the best way for a wholesaler to carry products from SwissOutpost.com is to phone them, although the company plans to have a B2B website by the end of January. Said Adler, "All we need to do is program a sign-in page, and we will be able to show wholesale prices instead of retail prices. Right now we are getting ready for the holidays."
In the meantime, there is a New Products section, which is updated regularly. While the Wenger watches and knives come out with new products only once each year, Victorinox puts out new products at least every quarter. "After that," Adler said, "unless they are closeouts, we put them in the general category where they are shown by popularity."
Though the site is retail, wholesalers can use it with the same advantages as retail buyers. Clicking on a product category, and then on Best Sellers automatically sorts the products in the order of what is most popular. "However you search, you get the corresponding search results by popularity," said Adler.
According to Adler, the Specials category changes most frequently. "Every month, Wenger sends us a list of closeouts. These are products that were current, but are no longer part of their line up, so they are only available as long as they last. We send our customers closeout lists every month."
Since SwissOutpost.com does such an extensive amount of dropshipping, they have no minimum order. All orders receive wholesale pricing, which for dropshippers is 50 percent off the suggested retail price. For wholesalers who buy in bulk, the pricing is 55 percent off retail. Dropship orders of fewer than ten are charged a flat $5.95 shipping fee per address. "But if somebody buys in bulk, we give them their shipping at cost, by any method they like."
Minimum order: None, but fewer than ten incurs a $5.95 shipping fee. Orders of more than ten are shipped at cost by method of choice.
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